As we rapidly approach February 2nd (convening of the 55th legislature ) we need to have a discussion about what #oklaed needs to do to move forward.
1. Forget the Democrats: There went half of my readers. Seriously the Republicans control every elected body in Oklahoma with a super majority. The dems will not pass or even kill one piece of legislation in 2015.
2. Work with the Republicans: See number 1. A perfect example is HB2625 RSA bill in 2014. Many on #oklaed are citing how we united to get this passed but the truth is we worked with Republicans to write a bill that Republicans could support so it passed.
3. Stop the political rhetoric: Example: we now have everyone calling for the end of high stakes testing. What does this mean? Most tests are federal not state law.
4. Unite as educators: Last year some worked with Republicans to end testing that was not required by federal law. This bill was killed by educators who felt they would be irrelevant if there subject were not tested.
5. Support our new State Superintendent: @joy4ok has supported #oklaed from day 1. She was one of the first to stand up to Dr. Barresi and has joined our chats regularly. Please stop insinuating because she is a Republican she is not going to work with us.
6. Get to know your legislators: Especially if you are represented by a Republican. Call them have lunch with them. Email them and share information. Please do not attack or get upset when they do not vote exactly as you THINK they should.
7. Embrace the reforms: I did not say accept as they are. Accountability is here to stay. We are going to have a new evaluation system. Testing is going to be part of the equation. We need to offer suggestions that Republicans will embrace not scoff at.
8. Fight one battle at a time: The first thing we need to address is Teacher Shortage. If we do not fix teacher shortage nothing else is going to matter.
9. Know what is law: Many educators are compiling Joy Lists. The problem is they want immediate fixes on issues that are state and federal law. She has already changed the culture and will lobby for legislative changes but the process is slow.
10. Have patience: We have been at the bottom of the teacher pay and educational spending ladder for as long as I have been in education (30 years). We can not expect a quick fix to this issue.
Educators ignoring Democrats just seems ludicrous to most. The senate is 40-8 and I can promise you Republicans are going to side with Republicans. All of our talk of holding your legislator accountable is what is ludicrous. You know how many sitting Republican lost in the general election? One. We have to unite and work with our legislators who, at this time, are Republicans.
Please feel free to debate or add to my list.